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National Conference on ‘Junagadh: Challenges & Prospects’ to be held on September 14

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The one-day National Conference on “Junagadh: Challenges & Prospects” will be organized by the Muslim Institute at the National Library of Pakistan in Islamabad on September 14.

The National Conference on “Junagadh: Challenges & Prospects” aims at promoting an academic discourse on Junagadh at the national level while highlighting the history of the Junagadh issue, the recent development on the issue, its status under the international law, and the role of the Junagadh community in Pakistan in a wider context.

The Conference will be divided into six sessions – an inaugural session, four academic sessions, and a concluding session.

Historians, law experts, international relations analysts from different universities and research institutions, and keynote personalities will participate in the Conference to present their research and analysis on the subject.

Background:

Freedom of Junagarh & a new political map” of Pakistan

A new political map” of Pakistan

On 4 August 2020, the Prime Minister of Pakistan unveiled a “new political map” of Pakistan that includes Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) including J&K, Siachin, Ladakh and parts of Gujarat including Junagadh, Sir Creek, and Manavadar as part of the country’s territory for the first time. This map is being used in schools and colleges across the country. So, the 73 years unresolved tragedy of Junagarh has taken strength by this step of Pakistan. Present ‘Wazir-e-Azam’ (Dewan) of Junagadh is Ahmed Ali is actively working for cause as Pakistan’s claim to Junagarh completely disregards the February 1948 plebiscite now. The new map will be an inspiration for Kashmiri freedom fighters and will be a reminder to the UN. The Atlases reflecting the Pakistani Line of Control (LOC) were produced in the US and UK by the National Geographic and Encyclopaedia Britannica as well.

History 

  1. Prior to 1815, there were more than 500 Princely States in Indo – Pak (Waltraud Ernst) and the area now known as “Jammu and Kashmir” comprised22 small independent states (16 Hindu and six Muslim) carved out of territories controlled by the Amir (King) of Afghanistan, combined with those of local small Rulers.
  1. Junagadh was a princely state in British India before its integration into the Union of India. The Nawab of Junagadh, Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III, was a Muslim whose ancestors had ruled the region for over 200 years.
  • During the Independence and partition of British India in 1947, all the princely states were given an option to either join the Union of India or the newly formed state of Pakistan.  But Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III decided that Junagadh should become a part of Pakistan on September 15, 1947 against the advice & will of Lord Mountbatten. Thus, Junagadh was not connected to Pakistan by land & forcibly occupied by India as it is surrounded on all of its land borders by India, with an outlet onto the Arabian Sea. The forced occupation of Junagarh by India dishonoured Article 26 of the Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties.

Freedom Fighters of Junagarh

  • How can be forgotten Muslim freedom fighters & Martyrs of Junagarh who fought for the cause of Pakistan and sacrificed their lives?
  • This went on for several weeks. The hatred between Hindus and Muslims started on 14 February 1927, some female relations of Thakur Balwant Singh, and their servants and Muslims of the Nayapura mosque including hero  Abdul Gani of  Hadni Chowki. By evening nine people (one Sikh, one Christian, three Hindus and four Muslims) had been killed and over 40 others (again, mostly Muslims) seriously wounded. For the next two days, a further wave of stabbings ensued, resulting in four deaths and 30 injuries. On 15 February made 200 arrests, the police concluded that at least 3000 people had taken an active part in the riots.
  • The freedom fight started around 1929 when relations between Hindus and Muslims in Junagadh were disturbed by a dispute over a sacred site near Una. When in 1931 a Muslim boy was killed at Verawal, by the Hindu community and arrested the four other young Hindu males who were purohit of a temple. These charges were later upheld at trial by the presiding session’s judge. However, the verdicts were overturned on appeal by the judicial assistant, which ‘created further communal feelings’. On 18 July 1931, six Hindus including the Nagar Seth who was believed to have funded the appeal, were killed in a revenge assault in the Junagadh town of Verawal. Note by Capt. G.B. Williamson, member of the council, Junagadh, dated 29 January 1932, IOR R/1/1/2184.
  1. Muslim students of Junagarh were so brilliant that by the War’s end, 88 out of the 97 top positions in the Bhopal civil service and approximately 1060 out of 1120 posts in the Bhopal police were held by Muslims. Likewise Ministry officials who visited Junagadh, after it had been taken over in 1947, found about half of all places in the state’s public service filled  by Muslims.
  1. In continuity of Junagarh & Kasmir freedom fight on  21 – 22 September, 1947 Police fired directly and killed more than 27 and wounded Aligarh University graduate when leader Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah rose to address a crow outside the Jama Masjid, the Kaul brothers seized their chance and Sikh and Dogra police and troops; five were shot dead and a similar number wounded. Another i procession was taken out and a further 22 Muslims were killed by police firing. Nearby Shopian was the next place to erupt. On the 25th, following Friday prayers, a Muslim mob beat up a posse of constables keeping watch on the mosque and stormed a police station before being overpowered by the military.
  1. An Orphanage House for boys at Junagadh was closed in June 1950. Around the same time, the Saurashtra government terminated its support for a free food programme run by the Dargah of Hazrat Shirazi Sahib at Dhanphulia and cancelled the stipends of at least half a dozen important mosques in Junagarh and Mangrol.
  • Another hero Kasim Razvi and force freedom fighters were  bestowed honorary name of “ the Razakars” originally hail from Hyderabad travelled to Junagarh made many sacrifices.

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